FOUR years after the Lingayen-Dagupan Archdiocese opened the first theology seminary in Pangasinan, it marked a historic milestone in the ordination of two of its seminarians as priests on Dec. 27 at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. John The Evangelist here.
“Christopher Kenneth Quimo and Jake Rovillos will go down in Pangasinan church history as the first harvest of the Mary Help of Christians Theology Seminary,” said Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas in his homily.
Rev. Christopher Kenneth T. Quimo, 27, of Bonuan Boquig, Dagupan City, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Normelito Quimo. He is now assigned as Spiritual Director at the Mary Help of Christians High School Seminary in Binmaley.
Rev. Jake J. Rovillos, 39, of Lingayen, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Marcelino Rovillos. He is now assigned as Parochial Vicar at the St. Thomas Parish in Mangaldan.
“Today, we are seeing the legacy unfolding and the future arriving right before our doorsteps,” he said.
Villegas said, “Because you are our first ordination from the seminary, you must also be first in many others.”
He said they should be the first to preach the Gospel; first in the reverent offering of the Mass; first in studying the Word of God; first to go to confession; first in praying the Liturgy of the Hours; first to live a recollected and pious life.
He urged them to be the first “to show charity to those who need counsel…to visit the elderly and the imprisoned… to visit the bed ridden and the handicapped … to love the children who need to be catechized; first in devotion to Mary Help of Christians and first to obey your Archbishop without question; first in modesty of dress and first in simplicity of life.”
He also exhorted them to be the first in courage to defend the Church, first in self-sacrifice; first to say no to mediocrity and pride; first in penance for your sins and for others; first in attending clergy meetings and first to attend the clergy retreats; first to listen to your brother priests in need; first to answer when the poor call for help; first to smile and console.
He added, “You must be first in openness, patience and kindness; first to give and constantly give; first in friendliness and care for the people; first to stoop down to wash the feet of your brethren; first in holiness; first in love, first in hope; first in faith and first to trust in the Lord”.
But Villegas told Christopher and Jake “not all is first with you”. He said they “must be the last in the line for the buffet table.. last to ask for a discount in the store… last to receive rewards and awards, and last to receive gratitude and applause.”
He added, they must be “the last to complain that life is unfair… to criticize the bishops and the Pope… to gossip about priests and seminarians… to grumble and whine, and the last with privileges and entitlements.” (Eva Visperas)